Gerber_Developing an Idea By Throwing It Away.pdf

Say he leaves the apple a new scene begins with the

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Say, he leaves the “apple.” A new scene begins with the apple. The next scene might involve a teacher and her desk. The scenes evolve over time and play- ers take pleasure in the scene that ex- ists in the moment and the memory of the scene. They are willing to progress with the exercise with the belief that more interesting ideas will develop throughout the game. Designers may use this improvisation exercise before or during an ideation activity as a re- minder of what may come when past ideas are thrown away to make way for new ideas (see the next page for more examples of exercises). This attitude that nothing is pre- cious prevails on the stage during performances as well. If an improvised scene is causing pain to the improvis- ers, meaning they are having a hard time developing the scene, the audi- ence is welcome to call for the perfor- mance to end immediately. Rather than perceive this as an insult or criticism that their work was not worthy, “blow- ing the horn” is considered a gift to the improvisers on stage. The audience rec- ognizes that not all improvised scenes will be successful and rather than suf- fering through an idea that does not appear to be developing, they end the scene so a new, potentially more fruitful scene may begin. Designers may similarly adopt this practice by providing a horn at the start of a brainstorm. Any team member can blow the horn if they felt that the team would be better off erasing the brainstorming question and subse- quent ideas to start anew because too much energy was being spent on just a few ideas. When should the horn be put to rest? If we are always throwing away our ideas, we may never get to develop the ideas we generate. Like improvisers, we must be mindful of our goals. If we are in the idea generation stage, throwing away ideas can make way for new ideas.
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  • Winter '18
  • DALY
  • Improvisational theatre, Keith Johnstone

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